By Matt Kroschel

RANGELY, Colo. (CBS4)– As 60 mph winds whipped flames, dozens of people rushed to get out of the way of the rapidly growing wildfire burning in Northwestern Colorado.

The Dead Dog Fire, named for its ignition point near Dead Dog Gulch, grew to over 17,000 acres on Tuesday afternoon. The fire is burning 10 miles north of Rangely.

(credit: CBS)

Just hours earlier on Tuesday morning, the evacuations were lifted for Lindsey Wiley and her neighbors but it was a very close call Monday evening.

The Denver Fire Department joined crews battling the Dead Dog Fire (credit: CBS)

“Fire can move so fast and do so much damage, you know, and you can’t control it. With the wind, the firefighters, they could have been hurt at any moment because the wind was whipping, it was going north and then south and then east and west… it’s just crazy,” said Dead Dog Fire evacuee Lindsey Wiley.

Flames came within a mile of the Blue Mountain community, stopped by a railroad track and fire crews.

Lindsey Wiley shows the flames from the Dead Dog Fire in a photo on her cell (credit: CBS)

Wiley’s husband raced out of the area with what he could grab. Photos show flames on both sides of the narrow county road. Utility poles snapped and covered sections of the road.

Lindsey Wiley shows the flames in a photo on her cell (credit: CBS)

A Type 2 incident command team took over operations Tuesday.

(credit: Rio Blanco County)

Community meetings have been scheduled for 5:30 p.m. in Rangely at the EEC building located at 402 W. Main St.

Several other fires are also burning in western Colorado right now, including the nearby Hunter Fire.

Wildfire Resources

– Visit CBSDenver.com’s Living With Wildfire section.

Wildfire Photo Galleries

– See images from the most destructive wildfires (Black Forest, Waldo Canyon, High Park and Fourmile), the deadliest (Storm King) and largest wildfire (Hayman) in Colorado history.

Matt Kroschel covers news throughout Colorado working from the CBS4 Mountain Newsroom. Send story ideas to mrkroschel@cbs.com and connect with him on Twitter @Matt_Kroschel.

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